Holiday Hopes

Josh Zbytniewski Josh Zbytniewski

Make a difference in the life of a child this holiday! 

Sponsor a child at The House through the Holiday Hopes Gift Campaign.

For most, the holidays are a time for celebrating with family, writing notes to Santa, being dazzled by silver bows and twinkling lights, or falling asleep with visions of sugar plums dancing in your heads. For our kids, a simple wish or hope may have never been answered. They may have never received a holiday gift that they wanted more than anything else.

There are 400 children at The House that hope their wishes will be answered this holiday. We ask for your help.

Sponsors are matched with a child at The House of the Good Shepherd. They then become that important person who answers that child's personal holiday wishes. Wishes fit within the $25 and $85 level, or you can sponsor a family in need. Often groups decide to help children or families in lieu of a gift exchange at work.

If you would like to donate a monetary gift to Holiday Hopes, you can do so through our secure online donation site. Click here to donate now.

Josh Zbytniewski Josh Zbytniewski


Josh Zbytniewski was only 20 years old when he tragically died last year. He was a free-spirit who loved the outdoors, especially the Adirondacks in the winter. Josh was also a very compassionate soul who opened his heart to anyone in need, and with this in mind, his family asks that you keep Josh's spirit alive this holiday season by providing gifts and opportunities to the kids at The House of the Good Shepherd.

His sister Taryn recollects, "I remember Christmas mornings with my older brother Josh. One of us would wake up first and run into the other's room jumping and screaming to wake up. We'd run down the stairs as fast as we could and organize all the presents under the tree for each member of our family. Once everyone had their pile, we'd patiently await our turn to see what toys we collectively got. We used to clean our rooms the night before so we could play with all of our new toys together. As we got older, we appreciated the outdoors. Christmas became a day where Josh and I would spend time with our families in the mornings, and in the afternoon, we wandered off into the woods to appreciate the gift and beauty that the world offered us together. We found healing and peace being outside together. It was magical, a Christmas miracle to be able to appreciate such a beautiful world with such a beautiful soul."

This holiday, Taryn and her family ask that you remember Josh's spirit and his wish that everyone has peace and love in their lives. Josh was loved by many! Share that love by donating to the Holiday Hopes Gift Campaign SPIRIT OF JOSH FUND. The Spirit of Josh fund is dedicated to changing children's lives by encouraging health, wellness, and activities. 100% of your contribution will directly support the Spirit of Josh Fund.

For more information, please call Leila (Lee) Bjornland, Director of Development and Communications, at 315.235.7772 or email

Thank you from all the children at The House of the Good Shepherd who will have a holiday to remember because of you!

Click here to review some frequently asked questions regarding Holiday Hopes